Automated submission of kernel panic reports: sysutils/panicmail

Colin Percival cperciva at
Mon Nov 4 10:43:22 UTC 2013

Hi all,

After considerable review on freebsd-hackers (thanks dt71 and jilles!) I have
now added sysutils/panicmail to the FreeBSD ports tree.  If you install this
and add
to your /etc/rc.conf, a panic report will be generated and sent to root@ for
you to review and submit (via email).  You can skip the reviewing step and
submit panics automatically by setting panicmail_autosubmit="YES".

The panics submitted are encrypted to an RSA key which I hold in order to keep
them secure in transit; and I intend to keep the raw panic reports confidential
except to the minimum extent necessary for other developers to help me process
the incoming reports.

If I receive enough panic reports to be useful, I hope to provide developers
with aggregate statistics.  This may include:

* regular email reports listing the "top panics", to help guide developers
towards the most fertile areas for stability improvements;

* email to specific developers alerting them to recurring panics in code they
maintain (especially if it becomes clear that the panic has been recently
introduced); and

* guidance to re@ and secteam@ about how often a particular panic occurs if
an errata notice is being considered

as well as other yet-to-be-imagined reports of a similarly aggregate and
anonymized nature.

So please install the sysutils/panicmail port and enable it in rc.conf!  This
all depends on getting useful data, and I can't do that without your help.

Colin Percival
Security Officer Emeritus, FreeBSD | The power to serve
Founder, Tarsnap | | Online backups for the truly paranoid

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